Does it seem like you could travel around the world and back again with all of the unused airline miles you've tossed away over the years? The good news is that under certain conditions you may actually be able to transfer unused miles to family members during the holiday travel season.

If you would like to help a loved one enjoy a cheap vacation, the first thing you should do is see if you can lend them some of your miles. While many rewards programs are flexible when it comes to sharing miles and combining points, others have tight restrictions on what you can and can't do. In addition, you should be very careful to learn about how long a transfer takes to be completed.

The time it takes for a company to transfer points and miles can range between a few seconds and several weeks. Is cheap travel on your mind? Take a look at how you can give someone you care about the gift of free airline miles.

  1. Create A Household Account

    Many airlines give you the option to create a household account that allows points to be pooled between everyone living under one address. This is a fabulous option if you have kids who will be flying home from college during the holiday season. Of course, a household account should be set up far advance of when you anticipate your next flight will be.

  2. Redeem Your Rewards For Someone Else

    You may not have to actually go through the process of transferring miles if the airline at hand allows you to redeem miles in someone else's name. Be sure to speak with a representative in advance to make sure conflicts with credit card information won't hinder you from successfully purchasing a flight ticket.

  3. Complete A Transfer

    If you have accumulated a large amount of miles over the years, you may be granted the ability to simply transfer your miles to another person. Many credit card companies and airlines give preferred members the privilege of transferring their miles to other flyers once they've surpassed a certain level of loyalty. Be sure to speak with a representative from your preferred airline to see if you qualify for this benefit when booking future flights.

  4. Transfer Points Instead Of Miles

    Travel points don't come exclusively from airlines. Many credit card companies give customers the option to turn accumulated points into airline seats. What's more, many companies allow customers to transfer these points to other accounts.

    If you'll be transferring points from your credit card to another user, you may be able to take care of the process online. Most credit card companies that allow point transfers require you to transfer the points to someone who is active in a partner program.

    Many credit card companies also give you the opportunity to combine your points with the points that have already been earned by the person you're sharing with.

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

N/A

17.49% - 24.49% Variable

$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95

Why we like it
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
Excellent Credit
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 per calendar year for baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

N/A

N/A

Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.

Why we like it
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Excellent Credit
The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

N/A

N/A

$550

Why we like it
  • Rewards program.
  • Platinum benefits.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
We least like
  • Annual fee.
Excellent/Good
Citi ThankYou<sup>®</sup> Premier Card

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website
  • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations
  • Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
  • Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
  • 50,000 Points are redeemable for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $500 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
APPLY NOWAt Citi's secure website

N/A

15.99% - 24.99%* (Variable)

$95, waived for first 12 months*

Why we like it
  • Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations, Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment, Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
We least like
  • No intro APR.
Excellent